Post Partum Depression - My Journey Into Motherhood: Part 2

I came to the realization years ago, through the avenues of Recovery, that I had truly been full of fear my entire life. I thought I had come to understand fear quite well after all the spiritual work I had practiced over the last few years. Fear has many different faces, I had never met this face of fear. The face of fear I stared directly in the eyes when Waylon was born. It was crippling, and it still is at times I entertain those thoughts. I had never known a fear so strong, so forward and loud. All the times I previously experiences fear before it was quiet, creeping and concealable. Not now, not with a child. How am I supposed to guide this tiny human in this horrible world? How can I keep him safe? I had never felt so helpless... and trust me when I say, I also know helpless quite well.

I had no manual to tell me how to care for this child. I was home, and I was terrified. Justin took to fatherhood as if it was second nature. He was what I couldn't be those first weeks. The sleep deprivation that everyone warns you about is not something that can be imagined. My whole life I have slept well. Never once was there an incidence of insomnia. Therefore I had no idea how lack of sleep could wreak havoc mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. I assumed the lack of sleep would be solely due to a crying baby. In reality I guess those maternal instincts took over and I no longer could sleep. I would be exhausted, nodding off all day. Then once night time hit I turned nocturnal and hyper alert. I cried as the evening approached because that meant around 8 or 9 my husband would be asleep, it would be dark, and I would be left alone to care for a baby in this never ending stretch of night. Many times I could be found curled up in the hallway at 2am sobbing.

Waylon was not and still is not the easiest baby. He cried, A LOT. Everyone told me that something must be wrong with him. Maybe he has reflux, gas, colic, maybe he is not getting enough food? Try this, try that. I have tried up to this day everything that anyone has ever recommended. He still has days where he will cry the entire stretch of the day, with breaks at nap time. When he cries, he has two settings: content, and the world is over. He doesn't just cry, he screams, sweating and choking.. for hours at a time. At nearly 4 months old he still wakes on average of 5 times a night. He doesn't enjoy rocking in a chair, being held or cradled. The only thing that has ever soothed him is for me to stand and bounce while walking around the house, holding him at my shoulder. And so began the constant back ache. He is very demanding, very specific, and he isn't afraid to make that known. That's my boy.

Society is embarrassed and ashamed of the mother that is not in love with her duties and new selfless world right away. We all share the roses, and the obvious struggles of lack of sleep, or showers. No one dare share the fact that they quite possibly hate being a mother. Maybe it was not what they expected? That was the case for me. Many times these thoughts came across my mind... what have I done? I just made the biggest mistake of my life! I hate this! I hate myself! I hate my husband! I hate my baby! Why would God trust me with this precious little soul? I am not meant to be a mother. ... Terrible right?

I mentioned my night time induced anxiety. When Waylon would cry at night I would get angry. I could see myself throwing him across the room. Those visions were a breaking point for me. I was consumed with guilt and fear for my baby boy. Justin was starting to not trust me with Waylon at times, and I didn't blame him, I didn't particularly trust me either. I told my mom everything I was feeling and she begged me to tell my doctor. He suggested and prescribed an anti-depressant. For reasons not mentionable I didn't take those, I am still not convinced that was the right choice. Either way, eventually this extremely dark moment did pass without the medication. Instead I focused on changing my perception and a lot of prayer. I have personally never been an advocate for medications of the like, but I do want to say I have changed my views after this horrible experience with depression. I had experienced darkness before but it was related to spiritual sickness and drug addiction. But now I was clean, sober, happy and had the life I had always wished for. When I fell prey to depression that deep and dark even though I was at such a wonderful place in my life, it changed my perception. If you are struggling with Post Partum Depression please talk to your doctor and take care of you, despite what others may think. It is normal. It is not your fault. Nothing is wrong with you. You are a good mom.

Becoming a mother is a miracle and a tragedy at the same time. There is a big part of myself that I am still mourning. That young woman who was free and independent, smart and strong with the world at her feet. I excelled at work and school. I took more onto my plate than I could handle and I still handled it. There are so many times I miss that young woman and wish I could have her back. The reality of it is that she has changed. Her heart now completely resides outside of her body. ... My heart is with Waylon. My responsibilities are for Waylon. I made the decision to be a stay at home mother for now, and that is my life. I miss work and school. Though, I deeply love my boy. My love for him at times is so strong that it brings me to my knees. Today my world is so full and lonely at the same time. At times I still feel unworthy of this perfect little piece of God. 

That dark cloud of depression did pass, mostly. It still comes back to visit from time to time, more often than I would like. It didn't pass because things got easier, as everyone promised it would. It passed because I am adjusting. I am adjusting to life without sleep, to life with minimal adult contact or intellectual conversation. I am learning to vibe with Waylon's screams rather than resist them. I am feeling less heavy from the weight of fear that has consumed me. I am slowly getting used to my world being wrapped up into one tiny helpless being that relies on me for everything. I am coming to enjoy his reliance, and to quit fearing the day he will no longer need me. I am learning to trust God when it comes to my tender baby boy, little by little. My answer is always with Him.